Concrete Ships

Principe_Perfeito
8th February 2006, 02:00
Who said that rocks don't float?
For sure the said person doesn't know the history of the concrete ships of WW1 and WW2: http://www.concreteships.org/ (*))

I wasn't aware of these experiments... but I'm always learning. :)

Best regards from Lisbon,
Paulo Mestre

Gulpers
8th February 2006, 05:45
Paulo,

Ferro-cement construction is still a popular choice for "Blue Water" cruising yachts.

A typical example, the yacht Ramprasand, can be found here => http://homepages.rya-online.net/sacoles/main.htm

There is a lot of information on the site but the "12 Year Project" link shows what can be done with an old ferro-cement hull. (Thumb)

Harry Nicholson
8th February 2006, 10:07
On the shore between Whitby and Saltwick Bay, Yorks. UK. there is a wreck of a concrete ship. It has not decayed as much as the iron wrecks nearby. The barnacles love it.

treeve
8th February 2006, 16:06
Too true ! Have a look at
http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~treevecwll/conc.htm
Best Wishes
Raymond

bert thompson
8th February 2006, 16:22
Seem to recall the wreck of a concrete ship at West Staiths Blyth.

Mad Landsman
8th February 2006, 19:33
If one drifts slightly off actual ships then the famous Mulbery harbour built in 1944 off the coast of Normandy was largly made up of concrete sections which were towed over the Channel, some sunk and formed rigid structures, some allowed to float.

Two sections, which I believe were called 'Phoenix units' are, I think, still in use in Portland harbour to keep the weather off Queens pier. Maybe Strawberry could confirm that?

As lads in Weymouth we used to play on an old concrete barge which we were told was used to transport fuel following D-day, it's long gone now.

Santos
8th February 2006, 20:43
I remember seeing concrete dumb barges in Liverpool Docks in the 60s. They were biguns too. I believe that they were later taken out and sunk in Liverpool Bay.

They certainly looked in good condition, pity they didnt keep one as a museum piece.

Chris.

STRAWBERRY
9th February 2006, 19:26
If one drifts slightly off actual ships then the famous Mulbery harbour built in 1944 off the coast of Normandy was largly made up of concrete sections which were towed over the Channel, some sunk and formed rigid structures, some allowed to float.

Two sections, which I believe were called 'Phoenix units' are, I think, still in use in Portland harbour to keep the weather off Queens pier. Maybe Strawberry could confirm that?

As lads in Weymouth we used to play on an old concrete barge which we were told was used to transport fuel following D-day, it's long gone now.

Yes, you are correct, Two Pheonix units are in Portland, They have been sunk to the bottom to provide a Lee from the Southwesterly and Westerly Winds to any vessels on the Queens Pier. They have been there since I was Born 1969! And they still look in good condition.....For Concrete!

billmaca
9th February 2006, 22:57
this is a ferro cement boat the skipper owner built himself at Scrabster I worked 6 years on her and for punching into a sea you could't beat her the wheelhouse was ferro as well very strong

janbonde
10th February 2006, 15:22
I remember in 48/49 there was a couple of sections of mulberry afloat in Portland harbor we used to moor alongside when we were not working on the wreck[was on a salvage ship at the time] the only trouble was you had to wait for the MFV to come by to get a run ashore.If the wind got up you could not get back on board,spent the night in a royal navy club of some sorts sleeping on a billiard table,and I believe the road over the causeway got closed as well

Jan Hendrik
18th February 2006, 20:53
There is a bit of info on concrete ships in the following thread:
follow the info both on page 1 and 2

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=1431&page=1&highlight=concrete+vessels

Jan

Jim S
18th February 2006, 21:57
this is a ferro cement boat the skipper owner built himself at Scrabster I worked 6 years on her and for punching into a sea you could't beat her the wheelhouse was ferro as well very strong

i remember visiting a small boatyard at Port Antonio, Jamaica around 1970 that was building ferro - cement fishing boats - similar outline to your pictures but much smaller. First time I had seen such a construction. Maybe it was just a ballasting problem that would be sorted out on completion but their boats seemed to have a tendency to trim by the head.

goldie
11th November 2006, 18:20
Hi!,
Remember boarding one in Cuba a long time ago. Good as new.
Triple expansion steam engine and all.
Regards

Bearsie
12th November 2006, 11:25
Who said that rocks don't float?
For sure the said person doesn't know the history of the concrete ships of WW1 and WW2: http://www.concreteships.org/ (*))

I wasn't aware of these experiments... but I'm always learning. :)

Best regards from Lisbon,
Paulo Mestre

Well.... most folks are not into independent thinking. It always amazes me
why folks claim that concrete doesn't float but steel does !
being that steel is 3 times as heavy as concrete (specific weight)

Historically Man will explore any new material for anything, Concrete being no exception. Early concrete ships/boats include a steam launch in the german ship museum in Bremerhaven about 1900, a norwegian built several motor coasters around 1917 and then went to the US to push the idea for bigger ships. There are 2 concrete coasters, MS Capella in Rostock, MS Treue in Bremen.
both restored, they date from the 40's and Dyckerhoff built about 60 of them.
You may notice right there one of the problems with the new material.
Dyckerhoff is a leading concrete manufaturer in germany, not a ship builder!
Shipyards have no clue how to build a concrete ship since they try to built them along the lines of a steel vessel, but for concrete a different construction is required, namely shell not rib construction.
Concrete ships are much easier to maintain than steel and quite sturdy.
So why are there not more of them?
Weight and knowledge, i.e. economics.
First came wood, not because it floats but because its easy to work with stone age tools and (used to be) in ample supply.
When the switch was made to Iron and then Steel it took years to create the new knowledge base needed to build them successfully.
Since concrete is ever only used in war time, this experienced pool of men simply doesn't exist. Not counting "Ferro Cement" boats for a moment, and even there are maybe 100 fiberglass boat experts for every ferro cement expert.
Add Government "guidance" to such a project and you can easily see how concrete ships went "in the tank"
Steel ships have been build for a hundred years by the thousands, concrete ships haven't and considering the economics of modern mass production
concrete ships will be at a disadvantage before you even address the weight issues, i.e. less pay load.
I saw my first concrete ship in the 60's, a hulk of a good sized freighter in Brest/France and around 64 actually moored alongside a concrete coaster in the baltic, took me a few minutes to figure out what felt "odd" about that ship.
FYI there is an annual Betonkanu / Concrete Canu competition by technical University students in Germany with a regatta in Heidelberg.
and that gets us to a language problem, since in many non-english speaking countries "concrete" isn't concrete you can't google it !
But you can google: "Beton" -schiff, boot, shep, skib
I had some great pictures but no clue what I did with them, so here a few urls,
for some odd reasons i didn't get any UK sites, but some of them are already posted
some in german and norwegian, but all the pictures are in pixels.
The best are on the bottom.

http://www.coltoncompany.com/shipbldg/ussbldrs/wwii/merchantshipbuilders/concreteships.htm

http://www.concreteships.org/

http://www.unmuseum.org/concrete.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_ship

http://www.crystalbeach.com/selma.htm

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4442/is_200406/ai_n16066101

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betonboot

http://www.betonkanu-regatta.de/Warum_ein_Kanu_aus_B.402.0.html

http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:5kiSxbPu2ncJ:www.tik.rwth-aachen.de/files/newsletter/pdf/tik_newsletter_05-10.pdf+beton%2Bkanu&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=3

http://www.ship-photo.de/modules/myalbum/photos/454.jpg

http://www.ostsee.de/rostock/betonschiff-capella.html

That should be enough Concrete / Beton you keep you busy for a minute.

Happy Travels, Bearsie

Bearsie
12th November 2006, 20:05
Help, I am knee deep in concrete! My curiosity got the better of me.
Which is nothing unusual since I am a nosey sort of Bear .
So I found out that the Uk owns, built and designed most concrete "ships"
and ferro cement boats to date.
And the existence of am awesome high tech, international concrete canoe competition.
Inclusive a concrete sub (german of course) LOL
But, its alway fun to learn more about stuff (Thumb)

http://concretecanoe.org/index.htm

STRAWBERRY
16th November 2006, 19:35
apparently, during the war..pheonix units were captained by a commander RN. wonder what the food was like on board? har de har har!

Bearsie
16th November 2006, 23:24
apparently, during the war..pheonix units were captained by a commander RN. wonder what the food was like on board? har de har har!
The thought boggles the mind LOL
Sorry to hear about your tragic "accident" :)

And here come the Danes! Built in 1920, one survived until 64 the other until 94!
Danish language only ...
http://lodsen.dk/Naestved_jernbetonskibsbyggeri.html

Bearsie
23rd November 2006, 15:37
The ultimate concrete link list?

mostly english text, a dozen countries.
links include place of build and ship info
Modern ferro Cement boats (yachts) not included

http://www.mareud.com/Ferro-Concrete/f-c-list.htm

danube4
26th November 2006, 23:37
Very good photo of concrete ship, "SS John Smeaton, sister to "SS Vitruvius"

www.usmm.org/concrete.html

Barney.

andysk
2nd January 2007, 13:20
...........

And here come the Danes! Built in 1920, one survived until 64 the other until 94!
Danish language only ...
http://lodsen.dk/Naestved_jernbetonskibsbyggeri.html


Coincidentally, take a look at the latest issue of "Ships in Focus Record" for a very exhaustive article on "BARTELS"; built 1920, sank 6/1994 when under tow to Larvik, Norway from Stockholm.

There were also a number of concrete barges built, approx the same size as the Thames lighter, two of which I photographed on the Thames last weekend between Vauxhall and Westminster bridges.

Cheers

Andy

Keith Adams
3rd January 2007, 01:36
Out here on the nothwest coast of The US of A we have a wrecked concrete
tanker built in Oakland, California and made trials in 1946... never loaded any cargo and was laid up for many years. Named "PALO ALTO" and had all
accomodation and engines amidships. Was used as a Casino for awhile and
moored end-on to a wooden pier at Seacliff State Park (just south of Capitola) she broke her back in a storm and is still there in two sections... up until 2005 one could walk onto the aft half but since closed off. All above main deck has gone... just 2 months ago they had to put salvors aboard to
pump some fuel oil out of her... now home to seals, cormorants and pelicans
Snowy.

Keith Adams
18th February 2007, 23:41
I was way wrong on the Sea Trials date!!! had my WWl and WWll mixed up...
was built for WWI and trials were in 1918... see posting and rather poor photo in Tankers . Cheers, Snowy

Harry Nicholson
19th February 2007, 11:02
Here's an extract of a piece I wrote for the Whitby Naturalists Journal. It's about Whitby's (Yorks. UK) own concrete ship sitting on the Scars below the Abbey Cliff:

"If you walk the route from Saltwick Bay to Whitby, or the reverse, make sure you do it on a falling tide, it is easy to get absorbed in filling your pockets with belemnites and have the tide sweep up around your ankles before you realise you have a problem. Once the tide turns and she gets onto the Scars she can move in fast.
Apart from the numerous torpedo shaped belemnites which sit proudly fused into the shale or mingle freely with the beds of pebbles there is an interesting wreck about half way along the route. It is the barnacled and mussel crusted remains of the concrete ship “Creteblock”, originally 125 ft long and 27.5 ft in the beam but now in several pieces. She was one of a series of concrete support vessels the government ordered during the Great War. She never saw service being completed too late in 1920, in Essex.
Smiths Dock on the Tees bought her and used her as a tug until 1935 when she was brought to Whitby where she became a hulk until 1947 when she was taken out to be scuttled in deep water. Something went wrong with this plan because as you can see she ended her days on the Scars. "